The anti-"beach read"

 

 

Because perfect vacations seldom make good literature

Une semaine de vacances

Christine Angot

The very graphic account of a vacation in Isère of a father and daughter in an incestuous relationship. Very disturbing. All the trigger warnings.

Plateforme

Michel Houellebecq

After his father's death, Michel a fonctionnaire in his forties takes a group holiday to Thailand and stumbles upon love and sex tourism. Classic Houellebecq.

read more: Julian Barnes in the New Yorker, "Hate and hedonism" 2003

The beach

Alex Garland

A young British backpacker in Thailand is given a map to an isolated, idyllic island inaccessible by tourists. 

Death in Venice

Thomas Mann

An older writer suffering writer's block goes to Venice and becomes obsessed by the sight of a beautiful 14 year old boy before succumbing to cholera.

The talented Mr Ripley

Patricia Highsmith

The young conman Tom Ripley is offered a reward to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf from a vacation in Italy, but he soon finds himself obsessed with becoming Dickie. Enough to kill him?

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